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Old 10th May 2013, 15:59   #2371
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Off late I am reading a lot of such complaints about the hard clutch and the lack of spacing between the pedals.
I hope Duster owners can share their views.
Can the pedals be changed to aftermarket ones that utilize the foot well space better?
Would such changes be problematic for the warranty?
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Old 10th May 2013, 18:46   #2372
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Originally Posted by sumeshmani View Post
Off late I am reading a lot of such complaints about the hard clutch and the lack of spacing between the pedals.
I hope Duster owners can share their views.
Can the pedals be changed to aftermarket ones that utilize the foot well space better?
Would such changes be problematic for the warranty?
Have not felt pedal spacing as an issue on my 110. Clutch is hard for sure, but it's not like its a big inconvenience (my driving is limited to around 25 km per day, with moderate to light traffic, and one traffic signal where the clutch driving gets tested). I may have got used to it, but still won't call it a problem. I do realize how light the clutch of my Indica is whenever I drive it. So if you are not switching vehicles often, then you will never realize it.

Also people complain about no dead pedal - I learnt driving in a maruti 800. The driver who taught me warned me of clutch driving, and I am trained to keep my foot flat on the floor, so even when there are cars which have a dead pedal, I am accustomed to keeping my foot flat on the floor.
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Old 10th May 2013, 23:04   #2373
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

So, following up on my previous post, Renault did send two local mechanics for checking out my RSA request.

In brief, there are two things to note.
First, Renault put in real effort to get people to attend to my problem and succeeded in getting them to check out my car in acceptable time, that too in a place where there are no showrooms/workshops in the entire state.
Second, the guys who arrived were regular road-side mechanics and had little knowledge, and I had a hard time putting my faith in what they were doing and how they were doing it. You know what they say about little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

Of course Renault don't/can't interview and train all their collaborators, and they probably have RSA agreements with outfits and not individuals. And while that can be improved, I really appreciate the fact that there is at least a system in place to allow Renault to take care of its customers who need support; at the same time the customers themselves need not worry about their warranty getting void and other such concerns.

Now on to what really happened. For a description of the issue you will need to read up my previous post. The guys came and I described the problem to them. They filled up the coolant container with regular water to check for leakages. They turned the engine on for checking this. (Do let me know whether this action could have caused damage to the engine). Surprisingly, they could not detect any leaks in the container or the pipes or the rest of the coolant delivery system. This is contradictory to the problem itself as green coolant stains could be seen all over the engine bay, especially the radiator area. Anyway, they then asked me to buy some coolant and drained the water and filled the container with coolant proper, using only a little water for dilution. (Again, do let me know if improper ratio of coolant/water could damage the engine). They turned the engine on again and still there was no sign of any leakage.

So what on earth is going on? How could I end up with coolant all over my engine bay and an empty coolant container and still have no evidence of any leakage. Can anyone throw some light on this? Is it possible for the coolant to get used up completely in a 600-odd kilometer run?

I did not have the courage to drive the car around to check for leakages as it already is smelling real bad and I don't want to cause any damage to the engine. However, since I was not really satisfied with the work that the guys did or their method of working, I called up my dealer as well as Renault RSA. Renault have offered to tow the vehicle in a flat-bed carrier to the dealer's. The dealer however suggested I drive it around to see if the coolant leaks again. I have the option of getting the car towed to the dealer in any case.

So please tell me if I should drive Monsieur Dracula around to check for leakages, boys and girls? Or do I stand to cause damage to the engine if I do so?

One more thing if someone could answer - the fan sitting behind the radiator - is that supposed to run all the time or only occasionally? It wasn't running while the engine was on and so I asked the guys about it. They however said that it runs only when the vehicle heats up? Enlighten me please, I'm no automotive engineer, neither am I too knowledgeable about the innards of automobiles.
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Old 11th May 2013, 00:36   #2374
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^^To answer some of you questions, no the improper mix of coolant and water, will not cause any trouble. Since, they checked the leakage, I suggest you to drive it around and notice, if any leakage is there.

And a question for you, when you noticed the coolant spilled out in the engine bay area, were the radiator cap, was there in its place?

Possible, that it would have been left loose, which caused coolant to spill out, once the engine reached its temperature. Same happened with me way back on my 800.

For now, I will suggest, you drive around and see, if leakage is there or not
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Old 11th May 2013, 06:56   #2375
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And a question for you, when you noticed the coolant spilled out in the engine bay area, were the radiator cap, was there in its place?
Thanks for your inputs. My previous automobile experience was gained with my old-school old-tech Zen, so that did occur to me. However, I admit I couldn't find any such thing as a radiator cap in my Duster. Makes me feel so old!

Another thing is that although I have not driven the vehicle around, I have turned the engine on and let it idle. But when I turn the engine off, there is a weird sound that I can hear distinctly that was not there before.
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Old 11th May 2013, 08:25   #2376
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Thanks for your inputs. My previous automobile experience was gained with my old-school old-tech Zen, so that did occur to me. However, I admit I couldn't find any such thing as a radiator cap in my Duster. Makes me feel so old!

Another thing is that although I have not driven the vehicle around, I have turned the engine on and let it idle. But when I turn the engine off, there is a weird sound that I can hear distinctly that was not there before.
As already mentioned that running only water for some time does not harm the engine. However you should not run your car always on water. If there is a doubt of coolant leaking, keep an eye on the temp gauge. Running the car without coolant/water can result in the engine seizing. So you are being right in not wanting to drive the car around. We had a Maruti in Delhi, which towards the fag end of its service gave a couple of consistent recurring problems. So at one time I became pretty hands on. Have not tried that with the newer vehicles. So my observations might be slightly dated.
1. My first guess, the way you described it is, would be to check the radiator cap. You seem to have ruled that out. After writing this post, even I will go and check the engine bay... Out of curiosity to check how the radiator is topped.
2. The pipes could be cut and torn - but again that would be evident after you run the engine. The pipes have a tendency to get cut, where they are attached to the engine with the clips. The clips eat into the pipes, but again that should not be the case for a new vehicle.
3. IMP - I have seen it once in my car that although the coolant is leaking, but it is not evident while the engine is running. Park the car after running it and see it after a few hours. You will notice coolant on the floor. This does not seem to empty the coolant, but very slowly reduces the quantity.
4. From what I remember you should be filling in the water/ coolant with the engine running, this ensures that coolant circulates and fills up all the pipes. This way you also top up the coolant in the right quantity.
5. Regarding the fan - it is not supposed to be working all the time. If there is no coolant, then it could be working extra hard...or it could a problem with the fan as well, but again as you said it seems to be working.
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Old 11th May 2013, 14:47   #2377
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1. My first guess, the way you described it is, would be to check the radiator cap. You seem to have ruled that out. After writing this post, even I will go and check the engine bay... Out of curiosity to check how the radiator is topped.
2. The pipes could be cut and torn - but again that would be evident after you run the engine. The pipes have a tendency to get cut, where they are attached to the engine with the clips. The clips eat into the pipes, but again that should not be the case for a new vehicle.
3. IMP - I have seen it once in my car that although the coolant is leaking, but it is not evident while the engine is running. Park the car after running it and see it after a few hours. You will notice coolant on the floor. This does not seem to empty the coolant, but very slowly reduces the quantity.
4. From what I remember you should be filling in the water/ coolant with the engine running, this ensures that coolant circulates and fills up all the pipes. This way you also top up the coolant in the right quantity.
5. Regarding the fan - it is not supposed to be working all the time. If there is no coolant, then it could be working extra hard...or it could a problem with the fan as well, but again as you said it seems to be working.
1. I couldn't find any such thing as a radiator cap in my duster. I generally am pretty lost after making the transition from petrol to diesel anyway. Did you manage to find it?

2. The pipes did not show any signs of leakage when the engine was idling.

3. The car was parked overnight upon a clean surface, I checked for leaks in the morning and found none.

4. The RSA guys filled the coolant with the engine off.

5. I checked the fan again. It was not running while the engine was idling, but when I turned the A/C on, I found it to be running fine.
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Old 11th May 2013, 21:43   #2378
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Well guys, Here is announcement of the arrival. My woodland brown beast has arrived. Sadly the paper work (it is a Company Leased Car) is not complete yet. Presume it will done by Wednesday next week. Another 2 days to get the registration done. So Saturday, I should have the beast. Reminds of Sleepless in Seattle err.. or is it Bangalore

Asked the sales executive when I can see the car. He was reluctant at first. He said the car is not washed and all. So I told him that I want to see the car before it is registered. So he agreed. The vehicle was in their Yard in Nelamangala, about 1.5 hours from my house. Took my better-half and daughter, drove to place. Saw the vehicle did a basic PDI as per inputs from T-Bhp PDI checklist. Things look good. When I did the TD I was not very happy with the Duster interiors. But the 85ps RxL (O) interiors are to my taste. I kind of fell in love with the interiors, might be a bit hard to maintain though.

Overall I am very satisfied. Can't wait to get my hands on the beast. Keep watching this space, more to come.
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Old 11th May 2013, 22:38   #2379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snkjr View Post
1. I couldn't find any such thing as a radiator cap in my duster.
The radiator cap wouldn't necessarily be on the radiator itself, the lid/cap of the coolant tank/expansion tank is the radiator cap in a duster. (see pic)
Quote:
Originally Posted by snkjr View Post
2. The pipes did not show any signs of leakage when the engine was idling.
Allow the engine idle for about 30 mins until it reaches normal temp, keep a close watch on the temp gauge while doing so. Check for leaks after the engine reaches normal operating temperature
Quote:
Originally Posted by snkjr View Post
3. The car was parked overnight upon a clean surface, I checked for leaks in the morning and found none.
Check radiator coolant level in the bottle the next morning, DO NOT overfill coolant beyond the 'max' mark on the coolant bottle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snkjr View Post
4. The RSA guys filled the coolant with the engine off.

5. I checked the fan again. It was not running while the engine was idling, but when I turned the A/C on, I found it to be running fine.
No issues in topping up coolant while engine is off. Radiator cooling fan will operate only if the coolant temperature rises above the normal operating temp and will cut off when the temperature is lowered.

WHILE DOING THESE TEST PLEASE DO NOT OPEN THE RADIATOR CAP/ COOLANT BOTTLE CAP WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT. ALLOW THE ENGINE TO COOL DOWN BEFORE OPENING RADIATOR/BOTTLE CAP.
Cheers
Saud

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Old 13th May 2013, 00:06   #2380
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So it seems I have finally figured out the problem. I didn't have the courage to drive the car out but in the end took it out for a 5 km drive. It's as if the radiator has come off its proper mounts and has just "fallen" down and is resting on the chassis.

This is so absurd. I swear my MS Zen was so much sturdier. And yes, the foul chemical smell is still coming from the engine. And there have been no further coolant leaks.

I'm getting this towed to the workshop. Phew!
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:48   #2381
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Originally Posted by snkjr View Post
So it seems I have finally figured out the problem. I didn't have the courage to drive the car out but in the end took it out for a 5 km drive. It's as if the radiator has come off its proper mounts and has just "fallen" down and is resting on the chassis.

This is so absurd. I swear my MS Zen was so much sturdier. And yes, the foul chemical smell is still coming from the engine. And there have been no further coolant leaks.

I'm getting this towed to the workshop. Phew!
That's shocking, didn't the mechanic who came to inspect the car, were able to identify this?

This is seriously not expected from a car like Duster. Can you post a pic, if possible please.
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Old 13th May 2013, 07:56   #2382
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That's shocking, didn't the mechanic who came to inspect the car, were able to identify this?

This is seriously not expected from a car like Duster. Can you post a pic, if possible please.
It's shocking alright. The mechanics who had come to inspect were seeing a Duster for the first time in their lives. It would be too much to expect them to know the layout. They were clearly flummoxed looking at the engine bay.

I'll post a pic for sure. Trouble is, I had to leave the car someplace else, a long way from where I live.

My biggest (and perhaps only) complaint with the Duster is the unacceptable level of build quality. Like I said, I swear my MS Zen was way way better on that aspect alone.

Last edited by snkjr : 13th May 2013 at 07:59.
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Old 13th May 2013, 08:02   #2383
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And yes, the foul chemical smell is still coming from the engine. And there have been no further coolant leaks.

I'm getting this towed to the workshop. Phew!
Few years ago, I used to get a very pungent smell from my car, after I run it continuously for an hour or more.
It used to happen occasionally only. The smell used to come from the engine bay, but I could never figure out the source.

Finally one day my battery died after such an incident. That's when I realized, the alternator was over charging the battery
and hence overheating it. The boiling acid was fuming out and hence the pungent order.

This might not be the case with you, but better keep this possibility in your mind.

Last edited by sumeshmani : 13th May 2013 at 08:05.
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Old 13th May 2013, 08:49   #2384
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Mods: Sorry for the back to back post. I missed the 'Edit' window. I hope the following video has not been posted before.

Have a look at this video by 'carblogindia' for Dusters off-road abilities in India
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Old 13th May 2013, 10:59   #2385
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Have a look at this video by carblogindia for Dusters off-road abilities in India
Though the Duster has good off-road capabilities, that is the worst review i have seen in a while!!! The review is extemporaneous, but the reviewer has poor choice of words and fluency.
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